Quantcast

Tower would topple zoning limits

How does the new Fountain Square tower proposal stack up against existing zoning rules? It's expected to be several more days before city officials release a formal zoning analysis of the project, but a comparison of the developers' proposal with zoning code provisions provides some rough benchmarks.

How does the new Fountain Square tower proposal stack up against existing zoning rules? It's expected to be several more days before city officials release a formal zoning analysis of the project, but a comparison of the developers' proposal with zoning code provisions provides some rough benchmarks.

Height
At 523 feet the 49-story tower would be more than four times as high as the 125-foot limit permitted for the block, even with planned development allowances.

Floor area ratio
Floor area ratio describes the relationship of the total square footage of a building to the size of the lot. The zoning code permits a floor area ratio of 4.0 for planned developments in the D-2 zone — or a square footage four times the lot size.

It's not possible to calculate the precise floor area ratio of the proposed building from the rendering the developers have publicly released, but it appears to be in the neighborhood of 20 — roughly five times the zoning code limit.

Setback
The zoning code requires that the base of a building fronting on Church, Sherman or Orrington must be built to the lot line, but it must have a Ziggurat setback of at least 40 feet starting from a point between 24 and 42 feet above the ground.

The proposed building's base would be built to the lot line, and the design provides a 40-foot Ziggurat setback, but the setback starts five floors, or roughly 50 feet, above the ground.

Parking
The developers say they plan to provide 1.1 parking spaces per residential unit, which they say is the same as what they provided at Sherman Plaza. With a plan for 218 residential units in the new building, that would work out to a total of about 240 parking spaces.

The city's zoning code calls for 1.25 spaces for units with one bedroom or less, 1.5 spaces for two bedroom units and 2 spaces per unit for units with three bedrooms or more. Assuming an equal mix of one- two- and three-bedroom units, the zoning code would require about 345 parking spaces for the residential units.

In addition, the zoning code calls for one parking space for every 437.5 square feet of retail space downtown, with an exemption for the first 3,000 square feet.

With parking ramps running through the core of the first and second floors, it's not completely clear how much retail floor area would be available on the 30,000 square foot lot. But assuming 43,000 total retail square feet, the zoning code would appear to require about 90 retail parking spaces.

However, at the city's discretion, parking space requirements can be met by a developer leasing spaces from the city in a parking lot within 1,000 feet of the site.

With the Sherman Plaza garage well within that distance limit, it may be possible for the developer to meet part of the parking requirement by leasing space in the city garage, which the developers say is now under-utilized.

 

Editors’ Picks